Diane Orson

Managing Editor/Host

Diane Orson is WNPR's local host for Morning Edition.  She's also a reporter and managing editor for WNPR, as well as a contributor to National Public Radio. Her stories are heard on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition and Here And Now.  Diane began at WBUR in Boston and came to Connecticut in 1988 as a co-producer for Open Air New England.  She shared a Peabody Award with Faith Middleton for their piece of radio nostalgia about New Haven's Shubert Theatre.  Her reporting has  been recognized by the Connecticut Society for Professional Journalists and the Associated Press, including the Ellen Abrams Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism and the Walt Dibble Award for Overall Excellence.

Diane is also an active professional musician. She lives in Hamden with her husband. Her two children are in college.

Pages

Addiction Treatment
11:03 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Fairfield University Opens Housing for Students in Recovery

McAuliffe Hall at Fairfield University.
Credit Stagophile / Creative Commons

Fairfield University has opened the state’s first off-campus home for college students recovering from alcohol or drug addiction. The university's Recovery House differs from other substance-free college housing because it’s designed specifically for students who are actively trying to stay sober.

Read more
Student Health
9:40 am
Thu November 14, 2013

Federal Bill Aims to Better Protect Students With Food Allergies

A shot is delivered to treat an allergic reaction.
Credit Michelle McCandless / U.S. Navy

President Obama signed a bipartisan bill Wednesday that offers financial incentives to states if schools stockpile epinephrine. Epinephrine is the emergency medication considered the primary treatment for a severe allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis.

Read more
First Time Voter, First Time Candidate
8:52 am
Thu November 14, 2013

First Time Voter Wins Seat on Hamden School Board

Arturo Perez Cabello and Michael Ross
Credit Diane Orson, WNPR

Only about a third of Connecticut’s eligible voters made it to the polls for last week’s municipal election. Meet Arturo Perez-Cabello, a recently naturalized citizen who voted for the first time on election day and won a seat on his local school board. 

Read more
Student Credits
11:55 am
Mon November 11, 2013

Debate Over Transfer Credits Questions Integrity, Affordability

Tunxis Community College in Farmington.
Sphilbrick Creative Commons

University of Connecticut officials will soon vote on a proposal to limit the number of credits freshmen students can transfer from the state’s community colleges. 

Read more
Spotlight on the Arts
10:58 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Meet the Juice Vocal Ensemble

Juice Vocal Ensemble.
Credit Dannie Price

Each of the three singers has a solo career, but when they come together, the women of the Juice Vocal Ensemble perform a wide range of music. Alto Kerrie Andrew spoke with CPTV. "We can sing very difficult virtuosic new music," she said, "or we can sing folky stuff, or have a go at a bit of beat boxing, or be told what to in an opera or improvise, or work with electronics. So we like to think that’s fairly individual for our group, that we’re pretty diverse."

Read more
Cheating
8:49 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Investigators Confirm Test Tampering at Hartford School

Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

An investigation has confirmed test tampering at a Hartford elementary school. In a report submitted this week to state education officials by an outside law firm, investigators concluded there were irregularities in more than two dozen Connecticut Mastery Tests at the Early Reading Lab at Betances Elementary School. The report was obtained by The Hartford Courant.

Read more
School Reform
11:16 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Election Shifts Bridgeport School Board

Bridgeport Schools Superintendent Paul Vallas.
Credit The Connecticut Mirror

In this week’s election, the small Working Families Party won coalition control of Bridgeport’s Board of Education. The nine-member school board will now have a five-member voting bloc that opposes School Superintendent Paul Vallas and his education reform efforts.

Read more
Election Day
1:33 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

New Haven Voters to Decide Makeup of School Board

Toni Harp and Justin Elicker during a mayoral debate this campaign season.
Credit Melissa Bailey / New Haven Independent

New Haven residents will decide today who will be the city’s next mayor. State Senator Toni Harp is facing Alderman Justin Elicker. The winner will replace the retiring Mayor John DeStefano, who served 20 years in office.

Read more
CCSU Lockdown
8:22 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Student at Center of Lockdown Apologizes

David Kyem was charged with breach of peace.
Credit New Britain Police Department

A 21-year-old student at Central Connecticut State University is apologizing for actions that led to a three-hour lockdown on campus Monday. David Kyem, the son of a CCSU geography professor, told The Hartford Courant that he’s sorry for the fear and confusion. Kyem was arrested and charged with breach of peace, and then released on $1,000 bail.

Read more
Election Day
5:39 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Residents to Vote on Casino Proposal in Palmer, Massachusetts

Credit Brad Willis / Creative Commons

Residents in Palmer, Massachusetts will vote Tuesday on whether to support or reject a proposal by Mohegan Sun to build a $1 billion resort casino in their town. Polls show that support for the idea of a casino in Palmer continues to increase, but that does not guarantee a win for casino supporters. 

Read more
Danbury Prison
1:57 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Judges Oppose Plans to Convert Danbury Federal Prison to All-Male

Credit Kudumomo / Creative Commons

Chief judges in the region, including Connecticut’s Chief Judge Janet Hall, say they oppose plans to convert a federal prison in Danbury into a men’s facility. The facility is the only federal prison in the northeast for women. 

Read more
International ties
8:26 am
Fri November 1, 2013

Alexei Navalny Faces New Indictment

Alexei Navalny in 2011.
Credit Никита Баталов / Creative Commons

Russian investigators have charged Alexei Navalny with a new crime. Navalny is a Russian opposition leader with ties to Yale University.

Read more
New Haven
1:52 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Skeletons Unearthed During Superstorm Sandy Reveal Some Historical Details

Credit Des Colhoun / Creative Commons

One year ago on Halloween eve, there was a surprising discovery on the New Haven green. It was just days after Superstorm Sandy, and trees had blown down all around town. A giant oak tree toppled over on the green, and there, tangled in its roots, were centuries-old human bones.

Read more
Weighty History
9:43 am
Thu October 31, 2013

William Taft's Yale Days Show Humor, Struggle With Obesity

William Taft's custom-made chair, courtesy Yale University Art Gallery.
Uma Ramiah

America’s 27th President, William Howard Taft, has been in the news recently. New research finds that a diet prescribed for the nation's portliest president looked very similar to today’s low-carb, low-calorie diets. William Howard Taft was a Yale man who weighed 225 pounds when he graduated from college.

Read more
Coastal Resilience
10:24 am
Wed October 30, 2013

What We've Learned From Superstorm Sandy

Sandy slammed into Connecticut this week in 2012.
Credit Jan Ellen Spiegel / WNPR

This week marks one year since Superstorm Sandy slammed into the northeast, causing deaths, destroying homes and businesses, and reshaping Connecticut’s shoreline. The storm also caused leaders to rethink our response to major environmental events.

Read more
Incarceration
1:52 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Film Sheds Light on Hidden World of Supermax Prisons

"Solitary has become legitimated as a prison practice when all of the data shows that it destroys inmates psychologically and physically, and actively makes them worse," says Aseem Mehta.
Visual Law Project

Yale Law School’s Visual Law Project has created a film about Northern Correctional Institution in Somers, Connecticut. The documentary film sheds light on the hidden world of supermax prisons, where inmates may be held in solitary confinement for weeks, months, and even years at a time. The film is called "The Worst of the Worst."

Read more
Courts
12:47 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Trial of Terror Suspects Delayed

Babar Ahmad.
Credit BBC

It's been a year since two terror suspects were extradited from Britain to a supermax prison in Connecticut. Government authorities say Babar Ahmad and Syed Talha Ahsan operated a group of websites that allegedly recruited fighters, and provided cash, military equipment and training to terrorists in Afghanistan and Chechnya. 

Read more
Sexual Assault
11:41 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Seven Women File Federal Discrimination Complaint Against UConn

Kylie Angell, a recent UConn graduate, has said she felt unsafe on campus.
Credit University of Connecticut

Seven women who say they were victims of sexual assaults while students at the University of Connecticut have filed a federal discrimination complaint against the school. Their attorney, Gloria Allred, says the complaint to the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights alleges UConn failed to respond appropriately to the women's allegations. 

Read more
Brain Science
2:11 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Oreos as Addictive as Cocaine, in Lab Rats

Rats were found to prefer the middle part of an Oreo, just like many humans.
Credit BrokenSphere / Wikimedia Commons

News has been pretty rough lately, between the government shutdown and the debt ceiling. Now comes word that America’s favorite cookie can produce similar effects on the brain as addictive drugs. New research from Connecticut College finds that the Oreo cookie is just as addictive as cocaine, at least for lab rats.

Read more
Opening Government
1:29 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Back to Work, But No Reason to Celebrate, Says Murphy

Senator Chris Murphy.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

It’s back to work for hundreds of thousands of furloughed government employees. President Obama has signed legislation ending the partial government shutdown and averting a U.S. default. But U.S. Senator Chris Murphy said there’s no reason to celebrate.

Read more
East Haven Police
2:38 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Maturo Touts Full, Timely DOJ Compliance So Far

East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo, Jr.
Credit Diane Orson / WNPR

East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo, Jr. said the town has met its deadlines thus far under an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice's Office for Civil Rights. The investigation into East Haven's police department began in 2010. In a 2011 report, federal authorities found that police there intentionally targeted Latinos for traffic stops, and used excessive force against those taken into custody.

Read more
Government Shutdown
11:20 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Connecticut Farmers are Hurt by the Shutdown, Too

Connecticut farmers rely on certain government agencies for financial and technical support.
Credit Coventry Farmer's Market

Connecticut farmers say their business has been disrupted during the ongoing government shutdown. Bonnie Burr, assistant director for Cooperative Extension at the University of Connecticut, said farmers are frustrated by the closure of agencies run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Burr works with communities around the state on economic development opportunities. 

Read more
Government Shutdown
8:55 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Stalled Efforts in the Race to the Top

State Representative Andy Fleischmann, who chairs Connecticut's Education Committee.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

State education officials plan to submit Connecticut’s grant application for next Race to the Top competition this week. But as the federal government shutdown drags on, state-level officials have no one to answer questions about the federal requirements. Ninety-four percent of the employees at the U.S. Department of Education are on furlough.

Read more
Day 14
8:12 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Shutdown Continues, Connecticut Delegation Signs "Discharge Petition"

Members of the U.S. House of Representatives have shown they can come together...for the State of the Union address.
Credit house.gov

Lawmakers from Connecticut have joined more than 180 members of the U.S. House of Representatives to sign a special petition to reopen the federal government.

Read more
Hartford Marathon
2:32 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

Healing Newtown Through Arts and Athletics

Credit Josiah Mackenzie / Flickr Creative Commons

Thousands of runners are expected to participate in Saturday’s ING Hartford marathon (or half-marathon). Among them will be 26 members of Newtown’s 12/14 Foundation Marathon Team. They want to bring attention to their mission: to build a landmark performing arts center in memory of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Read more
Phone Down, Eyes Up
8:16 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Police Cracking Down on Distracted Driving

Credit epSos.de / Creative Commons

State police and local law enforcement are out on the roads and stopping drivers caught texting or using hand-held cell phones while driving.

The New Haven Register reports that the crackdown began this week in Danbury and northern Fairfield County and is meant to highlight Connecticut's new law that allows reporting of distracted driving offenses to insurance companies.

Read more
Bonnie Foreshaw
3:32 pm
Tue October 8, 2013

Female Prisoner Has the Chance for Early Release

Gates Correctional Institution in Niantic.
Credit Connecticut Department of Correction

Bonnie Jean Foreshaw, a woman believed to be Connecticut’s longest-serving female prison inmate, will have the rare chance for early release Wednesday. The clemency hearing is to be held at Gates Correctional Institution in Niantic.

Read more
Government Shutdown
8:37 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Shutdown Could Deplete Funding for Connecticut's Federal Public Defender

Credit Ammodramus / Wikimedia Commons

Connecticut’s federal public defender, Terence Ward, said money to fund his office may run out early next week if the government shutdown continues. "The shutdown, it’s a nightmare," he said. During the first ten business days of the shutdown, his office of 17 employees is operating on funds money from court fees.

Read more
Transportation
9:21 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Metro-North Back Up and Running at Full Service

Credit Connor Harris / Creative Commons

The Metropolitan Transit Authority says Metro-North's New Haven line is back to full service today. The nation's second largest commuter rail line has been crippled since September 25, when a high voltage power feeder cable failed.

Read more
New Haven
7:50 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Hillary Clinton Visits Yale

Hillary Clinton speaking at Yale Law School on Saturday.
Marcia Chambers The New Haven Independent

Hillary Rodham Clinton was in Connecticut this weekend to accept an award from her alma mater, Yale Law School. It was part of the school’s Alumni Weekend.

Read more

Pages